GASOLINE MOTOR CO was approached by Jack Daniel’s Australia with the idea of building a distinctive Harley-Davidson to suit the café racer movement. Now, any fan of either Harley-Davidson or Jack Daniel’s will tell you that this is certainly not the first time the two have joined forces to create a custom motorcycle—but a café racer? This created a conundrum for Gasoline Motor Co, a group that refuses to imitate, do things by halves or submit to the realms of socially dictated norms; nonetheless, they decided to venture into the often controversial world of hybrid café racer Harley-Davidson culture.
Obviously not the first mash-up of its kind—heck, Harley-Davidson even manufactured its own café racer known as the XLCR in the late 1970’s (to little popularity)—so with the resurgence of racer culture and all of the associated clichés, Gasoline decided to use the ever trusty, 1200 cc, Forty-Eight Sportster as the donor bike for the project.
Roland Sands Designs (RSD) offer a plethora of high quality aftermarket parts for Harley-Davidsons and they certainly came through with the goods on this build: racetrack driven rear-sets give this Sportster a super-aggressive foot-position; clip-on handlebars “mounted as low as they go”; a tuck ’n’ roll, solo bob job, single seat (re-tanned in house from brown to black); the famous two-into-one tracker-style exhaust wrapped lovingly in meters of high-temperature insulation; and the pièce de résistance: an anodised black velocity stack air-intake which has been grilled to the eyeballs.
Furthering to these purpose-built, bolt-on modifications, the Jack Daniel’s Café Racer had its tank lifted two and a half inches, stripped back to raw steel and slapped with some custom Jack Daniel’s inspired vinyls designed in-house.
The café racer theme continues with an American-style side-mounted licence plate and low slung speedo—the two of which were fully custom fabricated and engineered to allow visibility while retaining a sleek custom appearance.
Completing the retro café aesthetic is an enormous set of Firestone Champion Deluxe rubbers straight from the US of A.
Although the Jack Daniel’s Café Racer remains more or less internally standard, the increased air flow thanks to the RSD high-flow, high-performance exhaust and velocity stack intake tuned to perfection give the 73 cubic inch engine plenty of power.
In accordance with the increased output, the brakes have been given some extra stopping authority with a significant adjustment and all new custom brake fluid lines and actuating bracket.
With a total build time of around three months, the amount of care, craftsmanship and attention to detail poured into this custom motorcycle certainly pushed it into a class of its own. Featuring both new and old school design influences, the Jack Daniel’s Café Racer is a standout in any setting. It certainly turned quite a few heads while getting photographed (much thanks to The Rocks Brewery for the use of their cool facility).
Photo Credits: JOSH CLAPP & JASON at GASOLINE
Builder: SEAN TAYLOR
Styling and Editing: JASON at GASOLINE
Riders: Jody Pang, Stuart Holmes, Georgie Holmes, Sean Taylor, Jason at Gasoline, and Andrea Kaman
Words: CAMERON LITTLE
Burnout: SEAN TAYLOR